Some areas have local networks to share news or to support less experienced birders. If there isn’t one in your area, why not set one up? Some groups have found WhatsApp to be a great way to communicate. Let us know if there’s a group you’d like listed.
About us: With over 600 members, CHOG is dedicated to recording, promoting and conserving the wildlife of the Christchurch Harbour area. Members enjoy a free copy of the annual, 120-page publication, the Birds of Christchurch Harbour, as well as access to several indoor and outdoor events each year. www.CHOG.org.uk/Join
o Twitter: @CHOG_birds
o Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/chog.org.uk
About us: Lytchett Bay and its surroundings provide habitats for a huge diversity of wildlife as well as open spaces for people to enjoy a variety of activities. Almost all the land surrounding the Bay is now in sympathetic conservation minded ownership. The management and creation of a 'Nature Partnership' is a public expression of the intention of the parties to work together to manage the area for its special features.
o Website: N/A
o email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chair of partnership)
o Twitter: @LytchettP
o Facebook: Friends of Lytchett Bay
About us: Poundbury Nature watch was established late 2016 with the intent to encourage people to look at and report the birds that were being seen in and around Poundbury, our gardens and the immediate locale defined by geographic boundaries up to circa 1.5km on all but the eastern, town, sides of the development. Open to all residents – anyone and everyone, inexperienced or experienced watchers. The organisation is very informal with the collated sightings report published to interested parties monthly.
o Website: N/A
o email: email@example.com
o Twitter: N/A
o Facebook: N/A
About us: The group offers its members and visitors opportunities to learn more about birds and other wildlife in Dorset and further afield by organising a programme indoor and outdoor events. It also raises money to support local RSPB nature reserves. Evening indoor meetings are held in Dorchester from September to April and field trips are run once or twice a month between September and June. People with less experience or new to birdwatching are particularly welcome.
o Website: www.rspb.org.uk/groups/southdorset/
o email: (use Contact page on the website)
o Twitter: N/A
o Facebook: N/A
About us: The Shaftesbury Bird and Wildlife group was set up in November 2020 by young naturalist Alex Chapman, with the aim to connect bird and wildlife watchers, of all abilities, in the Shaftesbury and North Dorset area. By connecting nature lovers and sharing records, we want to help improve and understand the natural world across the North of Dorset and the surrounding counties.
o Website: N/A
o email: shaftesburyBWG@gmail.com
o Twitter: @shaftesburyBWG
o Facebook: Shaftesbury Bird and Wildlife Group
U3A is established in most towns and communities across the county, providing education and activity - open to everyone who's no longer in full-time work. Several have birdwatching or nature groups:
Bridport and District - birdwatching
Christchurch - birdwatching
Dorchester and District - birdwatching
Purbeck - nature walks
Shaftesbury and Gillingham - natural history
Verwood - birdwatching
If so, please tell us about it. If not, why not set one up? People love to get to know others nearby who share their interest. It's easy to connect with people in the age of social media.
Many of our members are happy to act as mentors for birders who are keen to learn more, or to team up with others to learn together. We are building a register of people willing to be mentors or companions. If you’d like to be involved, please post in the ‘mentors and buddies’ thread in the forum.
[detail of mentors and buddies to follow]
Whatever your skills and interests there are ways you could join the ever-growing team of enthusiasts helping the Club in a variety of ways. We always need more people to help us make the Club as relevant and important as possible for our members and for conservation. Here are just a few examples:
· Writers – we often need new people to join the team of species account writers for the annual report. And good articles are always welcomed for the newsletter and annual report.
· Conservationists – the Bird Club supports various conservation projects and we’d welcome people who can help us make a difference.
· Experienced enthusiasts – if you’ve been birding for several years, think what you could do to help newer birders. How about setting up a local birding group, running local bird walks, join the ‘Question Time’ thread in our Forum or help answer i.d. queries on Facebook?
· Educators – do you have a wildlife group in your school/institution? Would you like to get involved with the Club in some way? We’re very keen to promote bird-and wildlife-watching in schools, let’s have a chat!
· Farming fanatics – if you’re a farmer with a keen interest in birds, would you like stronger links with the Club? Why not contact us for a chat?
· Photographers – we always appreciate top quality bird photos for our daily sightings blog, newsletter and annual bird report.
· Artists – we’d love to have more original drawings, sketches and paintings for the annual report. Must be good quality, accurate depictions of birds seen in Dorset that year.
· IT divas – we need your help! We need more people on our monthly rota for entering bird sightings data into Excel for our database.
· Website wizards – we need your help too! Keeping the website fresh and interesting is a challenge. ‘Webmasters’ especially welcome!
· Speakers – we’d love to be able to offer interesting talks, either at meetings/conferences, or perhaps in the future as virtual events, podcasts, webinars or similar.
And above all, of course, send in your records or enter them in BirdTrack or eBird, and take part in the crucially important BTO surveys to help monitor our bird populations.
We would welcome articles from our members for publication in future newsletters. They can be serious or light-hearted, short or long and on any bird related topic you might like to write about. We are particularly keen to receive articles from our younger members and those who have recently taken up birdwatching irrespective of age. Please send contributions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in becoming a bird ringer then you will need to contact the BTO and ask to be put in touch with a licensed Trainer. The details for this can be found at https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/ringing
In Dorset there are several licensed Trainers who may decide to take you on if they have vacancies. If the Trainer you contact cannot take you on, for whatever reason, then they should give you details of another local Trainer.